When we read the news that the famously literary Algonquin Hotel was partnering with the famously colorless Marriott hotel chain, our first thought was, Oh, the homogenization of New York City continues apace! Our second thought was what will become of our favorite hotel cat, Matilda?
For those unfamiliar with the feline-friendly ways of the hotel better known for its Round Table of writers like Dorothy Parker and Robert Benchley, the hotel has housed a cat named Matilda since the 1930s (obviously, while the name remains the same, the cats bearing that name change every 20 years or so).
Concerned about Matilda’s fate, we reached out to Algonquin spokeswoman Marissa Mastellone. Her response was reassuring.
“She stays, of course! She is what helps make us unique and signature enough to make the Autograph Collection,” said Ms. Mastellone, referring to a Marriott hotel collection launched last year that includes formerly independent hotels with unique personalities in major cities worldwide. “Matilda is imperative!”
In related news, to celebrate the hotel’s joining of the Autograph Collection, the hotel tomorrow will serve a special $19.02 lunch menu (a reference to the hotel’s founding in 1902).